The final issue of IDW‘s all ages focused Godzilla series, Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors – All Hail The King, has arrived and it’s time for the final showdown between the three kings.
The last issue saw King Ghidorah preparing for his latest attack on the citizens of Earth, having already beaten Godzilla once already. With the help of the Shobijin, the four tweens have been able to ignite their connection to the guardian Kaiju. Three of the kids have reawakened Godzilla, who’s still recovering from the last fight, whilst new friend Karen has used her ancestral connection to King Caasar to bring him into the conflict. Now, the battle begins and the kids must find a way to use their connection to help the giant monsters, otherwise Ghidorah will achieve his goals and destroy all life on the planet.
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The final issue of this series is pretty much one long fight, and it’s hard to talk about without spoiling parts of it, but I will say that the story here is paced out quite nicely, with the kids being presented with a number of issues that they have to try and overcome in order to help save the day. It’s nice that the story doesn’t just hand the reigns over to the monsters, leaving the human characters with little to do, as often happens in these kinds of stories. Instead, the children play an important role, and their involvement in the narrative up to this point is fully justified, rather than them just being there to fill up narrative space between monster fights.
To that end, it’s not just the creatures that fight this issue, as the growing anger and resentment in the friend group reaches a boil in this issue, and the kids finally have to deal with the negative emotions that have been plaguing them since the start of the series. Cederic has been kind of a jerk this whole time, and it’s about time that he gets called out for it and is forced to confront his issues. He’s been on the offensive most of the series, and it’s led to him being one of the least enjoyable characters to be around. Luckily, there has been a point to this, and things finally get resolved here; rather than it just being a wild change in characterisation.
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Whilst this issue puts to bed the conflict involving King Ghidorah, there’s a lot of things that are left hanging. As such, with some final page teases, this series looks to be setting up for more stories to come. The things that get teased here are exciting, and it does feel much more overt that the series is planning ahead, and that it has future stories and monsters in mind; something that the first volume of Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors didn’t really do by the end.
Perhaps my one main criticism with the issue is that parts of the story seemed to get wrapped up fairly quickly, and some important things happen off panel. Whilst there is a moment where one of the characters mentions how quick and convenient it feels, simply hanging a lantern on the issue doesn’t really let you get away with it.
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The art on the issue, provided by Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado, is as good as always, with some fantastic character moments with the kids, and the action looking really good. There are a few moments where it takes a bit longer to realise what the monsters are supposed to be doing in the fight scenes once the kids start giving them hints and telling them what moves to make, but when you’re dealing with static images it can be hard to fully convey everything. But there are some great visual moments to be found here, and the book is gorgeous to look at.
With the promise of more to come, Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors – All Hail The King manages to both feel disappointing due to the fact that this is the last one for a while, whilst also getting you excited for what comes next. It’s a shame every time this series comes to a close, but by now I feel confident in saying that whatever comes next is going to be worth the wait.
Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors – All Hail The King #5 is out now from IDW Publishing.